The Full Story
A total of 19,063 Jamaicans were granted visas for permanent residence or citizenship in the United States of America (USA), Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) in 2021.
This is contained in the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) 2022 Economic and Social Survey, which was tabled in the House of Representatives recently.
The document notes that the USA remains the main destination of choice for Jamaican migrants, relative to Canada and the UK.
“While USA remains the main destination country of choice, there was a 38.4 per cent decline in the number of emigrants to the USA. This was different for Canada, as there were more emigrants from Jamaica in 2021 (4,045), compared with 2019 (2,342). Overall, there has been a 31.9 per cent reduction in emigration from Jamaica compared with 2019,” the survey stated.
The PIOJ noted that emigrants to the USA are allowed entry based on different categories of admission.
The survey said analysis of the data by category revealed that ‘Immediate Relatives to US Citizens’ remained the primary category of admission (85.2 per cent).
This was followed by ‘Family Sponsored Preferences’, which accounted for approximately 7.4 per cent of Jamaicans who obtained permanent residence status.
“A total of 4,045 migrants were granted permanent resident status to Canada in 2021. This represented an increase of 99.3 per cent relative to the previous year. The majority of emigrants to Canada were individuals from the working-age population, which represented 81.7 per cent,” the document stated.
A total of 585 Jamaicans who were granted permanent resident status were in the age group 30-34, representing 14.5 per cent.
Jamaicans between 35 and 39 years were the second largest group of emigrants to Canada, representing 14.1 per cent.
British citizenship was granted to applicants under one of four categories – Residence, Marriage, Entitlement or Discretionary.
The 2021 immigration data revealed that a total of 1,549 Jamaicans were granted citizenship, a 22.9 per cent decrease relative to the previous year.